Ohio Governor John Kasich is preparing to sign legislation that would reduce agricultural nutrient runoff. The reduction is designed to help curb or eliminate the toxic algal blooms that affect Lake Erie every summer. 
“Under Senate Bill 150, starting in 2017, farmers using fertilizer must first take a state-run certification course that teaches things such as how much fertilizer to use on a plot of land and when it should be applied, according to Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Erica Hawkins.
Farmers who voluntarily develop nutrient management plans would be given legal protections under the bill.
Kasich intends to sign the legislation, but no signing date has been scheduled yet, according to gubernatorial spokesman Rob Nichols. The bill passed both the Ohio House and Senate unanimously.
Hawkins said the bill will help address the causes of algal blooms. But she said it’s not clear how much the certification process will do to curb the problem, as there’s still little scientific research into the issue.”
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